Flickr user [firegroove] recently had to take apart his Roland TR-909 drum machine in order to fix it, and he photographed the entire teardown, offering detailed pictures of the TR-909’s internal parts. The TR-909 is legendary as one of the first fully programmable drum machines that could store entire songs, and its legend is only boosted by its scarcity: only 10,000 were ever made. If you can’t afford or simply refuse to tear yours apart, look after the break for a few more photos from inside.
This is a shot of the largest PCB in the TR-909, which contains all of the console knobs.
In this closeup of the board that hold the 16 step buttons, you can clearly see the TC5565P-15 chip in the center, which is a generic memory chip. It is probably one of the most replaceable parts in the whole machine. A few other chips specific to the TR-909 can also be seen.
We would have liked to see a little more description of what each part does. That said, it’s great to see the inside of this machine, which would have been a tall order given the rarity of it and the value a typical owner attaches to it. If you’re interested in getting a feel of how a TR-909 sounds, check out ReBirth RB-338: it’s a retired program that modeled the analog hardware to emulate the functions and sounds of a TR-909, as well its sister drum machine, the TR-808, and the eminent TB-303.